Norway is proud of its reputation as a center for electric cars in Europe but until now, its public transportation fleet has not been as green as it might be. That will change when 70 new electric buses are added to routes in and around the city of Oslo by the summer of 2019. The new buses will join 6 electric buses that went into service in Oslo last November. 50 of the buses will be 57′ long articulated vehicles and 20 will be 40′ long single units. When all the buses are received and placed into service, Oslo will have the greenest public transportation system for a city its size in all of Europe.
In a press release, the city of Oslo says the new buses together with the charging infrastructure and the electricity needed to power them will cost about $70 million dollars over the next 10 years. In general, an electric bus costs about twice as much as a conventional diesel-powered bus, but lower maintenance and fuel costs make the total cost of ownership lower over the entire useful life of the buses. And of course there are the intangible benefits of not spewing millions of pounds of diesel exhaust products into the air over the city of Oslo.
Lan Marie Berg, the Oslo city council member responsible for environment and transport, says, “Electric buses are a real learning experience for the city. When we get 70 new electric buses, it will contribute to cleaner air, less noise and, not least, an even more comfortable journey, according to a report in E24 News. “This is not just about climate but about the urban environment itself,” Berg says. “We reduce emissions of harmful gases and we reduce noise in the streets. But bus passengers also get a better experience inside the bus with reduced noise and vibration.”
Bernt Reitan Jenssen CEO of public transportation company Ruter says, “This is the result of a political commitment to environmental measures and a common desire to put in place future-oriented and emissions-free public transport as quickly as possible. Getting more electric buses in operation will give us all valuable learning, and we need this when we are going to implement bus contracts with 100 percent emissions free of charge [in the future].”